To Whom It May Concern.
These are the five words that will make your cover letter forgettable. The last time you received a correspondence that started with the words “To whom it may concern,” or “To the current residents of 123 Main Street,” you probably assumed you were about to be pitched on a low-interest credit card.
We are big advocates of going the extra mile with your application. That include fine- tuning your resume, researching the company, and finding contacts within the company.
To optimize your chances, every extra ounce of care you can put into your application matters.
Researching the hiring manager gives you two advantages:
- A personalized cover letter shows you are making an effort. You stand out among the potential 150+ applicants as one of few who bothered to put in the research and address the hiring manager by his or her name. And as Dale Carnegie says in How to Win Friends and Influence People, “…a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”
- You are forearmed with information on the hiring manager (depending on how much you can uncover. Just don’t be too creepy about it). Perhaps you and the hiring manager attended the same university, share common interests, or support the same football team. If you make it into the interview, you have a chance to casually bring up connections you may have.
But how do I find them?
- It’s 2015 now. If you aren’t on LinkedIn then you might as well be on Mars. And don’t say that you and/or your network are too big to bother with LinkedIn. Richard Branson, Jack Welch, Bill Gates and more are all on LinkedIn. Are you bigger than they are? No. So get researching! LinkedIn is made for this!
- Google. Need we say anymore?
- Your network. Know somebody at the target company? Then today is your lucky day. See if they can get the inside scoop on who is hiring for the position, and if they can let that person know that you come with their recommendations!
Now go out there, research your hiring manager, prepare your cover letter, and get the job!
The Team @ Ivy Exec.